Remove Wine Bottle Labels Quickly and Easily

Wine Bottles
This post is how to remove wine bottle labels and the sticky glue residue as easily and quickly as possible. It’s not about saving the label but sometimes they peel off beautifully.

Wine bottles everywhere!  What to do?  Ah, I am going to, hopefully, creatively reuse wine bottles. I have removed over 30 wine bottle labels lately using a variety of methods. Let the journey begin!

Labels are attached with glue. Some are attached with water-soluble glue, others are attached with sticky, heat-sensitive glue. To find out what type of glue you are up against, take a sharp knife and carefully, peel back a corner. If the back is sticky and tacky, you have a label that can be easily removed with heat. if the back is dry, you have a glue that is water-soluble.

Many folks swear by heating an oven to 350 degrees and putting the bottle in for 7 minutes or so. Well, this works great on the sticky, heat-sensitive labels but was worthless on the water-soluble labels. Additionally, while it did remove the sticky label easily and intact, it left a VERY heavy, nasty glue residue. Yet another step!

After trying a variety of methods using a variety of labels, my NO. 1 method for removing wine bottle labels easily and quickly is by far with water, baking soda and a cooler.Wine Bottles in Cooler

Directions to Quickly Remove Wine Bottle Labels:

1) Container for the water/baking soda: I would highly recommend using a cooler because it will maintain the temperature longer.

2) Mix 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of hot water (115° F to 120° F). If you have very difficult labels to remove, increase the heat. I have added boiling water to bottles already soaking in hot water. Do not pour boiling water over cold bottles. CRACK!

3) Fill each bottle with hot water so they will not float. Let them soak for 30 minutes to several hours depending on the resistance of the label.

4) Gently peel back top corner, then bottom corner and then slowly pull. (I found pulling removes most of the glue while scraping and lifting the label with a knife left more glue). If the label is still adhering, you can soak longer or scrape with a knife.

5) Use a scrubby pad and run the bottle under hot water to remove any residual glue. Some folks like to make a paste of coconut oil and baking soda but that seems like more work than is necessary. I tried it and it worked OK but I’ll take my scrubby pad any day. I’d save coconut oil/baking soda for making homemade toothpaste!

6) Thoroughly rinse the bottle inside and out as the baking soda will leave a white residue if you don’t.

Pellegrino water-bottles and Bogle wine-bottle labels simply peel off. Others are more challenging but nothing, so far, has been a real pain.

I hope this helps you to remove the label from wine bottles effortlessly. Now on to the reason for removing all these wine bottle labels.


  1. TheWineBrewer on September 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Hey I got a great video showing how to easily remove labels
    and glue residue here: